Sri Lanka’s overall tea export earnings during the period January – September of the year has increased by Rs. 10.6 billion year on year (YoY) to record Rs. 141.9 billion, according to a Forbes and Walker report.
However, overall export volumes in the first nine months of the year has decreased by 1.4 million kg year on year to 234.5 million kg.
The total tea export earnings in August also increased to Rs. 123.1 billion while tea export earnings in September was Rs. 18.5 billion. The volumes decreased by 3.1 million kg to 28.7 million kg.
Signalling a positive turn for its export diversification moves, Sri Lanka has notched itself up in the latest Global Competitiveness Index. And no less than 22 FTAs have helped Sri Lanka's topmost Southern hemispheric trading partner to lift itself off from a 'backyard GDP' and speed up to one of the best economies in South America today.
"I am pleased to say that Sri Lanka has improved to Rank 65 from its previous 68 in the Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014. We stand just below Russian Federation in this ranking. The same index says that, Sri Lanka leads among SAARC countries on competitiveness levels" said Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka) on 25 October in Mt. Lavinia.
An eager Sri Lanka launched the business side of its forthcoming CHOGM -and announced its new export turnaround to a packed presser on 22 October. “I am happy to say that our exports from January to September this year shows an increase of 1.07%, in comparison to the same period in 2012. This shows that, having faced the international market challenges our exports are now gradually strengthening” said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce on 22 October.
Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the official media announcement and special presser on “Reflection of Sri Lanka” held at the Ministry of Mass Media and Information in Colombo 5 on 22 October. Along with Minister Bathiudeen, also present were Susantha Punchinilame (Deputy Minister of Economic Development), Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena (Minister of Investment Promotion), Anura Siriwardena (Secretary, Ministry of Industry and Commerce), Charitha Herath (Secretary, Ministry of Mass Media and Information), officials of Sri Lanka Tourism, BoI, Tea Board, EDB, Gem and Jewellery Authority, and Ministry of Economic Development.
A joint Trade, Tourism and Investment exhibition parallel to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) has been organized to be held from 13th to 17th November at the Janakala Kendraya in Battaramulla in Colombo under the title “Reflection of Sri Lanka”.
This exhibition has been jointly organized by the Ministries of Economic Development, Industry and Commerce and Investment Promotion. More than 300 Sri Lankan exporters including 75 machinery exporters and 100 technology providers and 200 SMEs will showcase their products at this mega exhibition.
Sri Lanka's exports rose 10.7 percent to 917.8 million US dollars in August 2013 from a year earlier, and import dropped 7.7 percent to 1.6 billion US dollars, the Central Bank said.
Export earnings from tea grew 49.3 percent to 142.8 million US dollars and apparel exports barely grew 2.1 percent to 366.5 million US dollars. Rubber products export value dropped 8.0 percent to 77.7 million US dollars.
Imports fell 7.7 percent to 1.6 billion US dollars in August. Consumer goods rose 18.6 percent to 266.6 million US dollars and intermediate goods fell 5.7 percent to 1,017 million US dollars though fuel imports rose 7 percent to 531.3 million US dollars.
The forthcoming China-Sri Lanka FTA is the biggest development in Sino-Lanka cooperation history since the 1952 Rubber-Rice Pact. And China is keen to see the groundwork on this FTA completed by December this year.
“My mission is to start the China-Sri Lanka FTA process. The forthcoming FTA is the biggest development in China-Sri Lanka bilateral cooperation since the historic 1952 Rubber Rice Pact between the two countries. We expect that the preparatory process of the forthcoming FTA to be completed by December this year. Then we can go to the next stage in 2014, ” said a confident Yu Jianhua, the powerful Deputy International Trade Representative of the Ministry of Commerce of China on 17 October in Colombo.
The Sri Lanka Design Festival (SLDF) 2013, backed by local industries and the Sri Lankan Government, kicked off yesterday. The main objective of the festival, which is to promote design driven exports, is supported by Sri Lanka’s apex institute for driving exports, the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB).
Together with EDB, SLDF 2013 is held under the theme of South Asia’s Creative Hub, encompassing Sri Lanka moving towards the regional hub status in design. Under this, SLDF will join hands with the EDB to highlight and draw international attention to the major export industries like fashion/apparel manufacturing as well as emerging sectors like contemporary craft.
Lankan businesses of both SME and large scales are enthusiastically enlisting for the CHOGM event of EDB. "42 exhibitor firms from ornamental and handicraft sector, 40 from gem and jewelleries, and 19 from apparel sector are among them," said Ms Sujata Weerakoone, Director General of EDB on 08 October in Colombo.
Director General Weerakoone was addressing the special briefing session held at EDB auditorium on 08 October for exhibitors of forthcoming EDBs CHOGM exposition titled "Reflections of Sri Lanka-Exploring the Wonder of Asia". More than 250 reps from 184 Lankan businesses of SME and large scales from across the country were in attendance at EDB’s briefing session.
Tea export earnings in the first eight months of the year increased by Rs. 10.6 billion year on year (YoY) to Rs. 123.1 billion, Forbes & Walker (F&W) in a report said.
Export volumes in the review period increased by 1.7 million kilos YoY to 205.7 million kg.
Kenya, one of Sri Lanka’s competitors, in the first seven months of the year increased its export volumes by 52 million kg. YoY to 293 million kg., F&W said.
In the same period Kenya’s tea export earnings increased by Rs. 18 billion* to Rs. 109.7 billion.
Meanwhile Sri Lanka’s tea export earnings in August increased by Rs. 6.2 billion to Rs. 18.8 billion YoY.
Likewise tea export volumes increased appreciably by 9.5 million kg. YoY to 31.4 million kg.
Sri Lanka’s international Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is none other than its hub positioning. “At this moment, many countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia including Sri Lanka have great investment opportunities.
Sri Lanka will have to compete with these countries to leverage foreign investment streams from Switzerland” revealed a very confident Wolfgang Schanzenbach, Regional Director Asia Pacific of Switzerland Global Enterprise (SGE) on 03 October in Colombo.
Apparel exports must be expanded to cater to the growing demand for Sri Lankan made products in the Japanese market, according to Japan’s House of Councillors Member Yamatani Eriko.
“Sri Lankan apparels are of high quality but unfortunately, the supply of Sri Lankan apparels to the demand of the Japanese market is not sufficient at the moment. Therefore, we request steps be taken to expand exports of Sri Lankan apparels to Japan.
Bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and Japan has a very long history and trade is one of the most important aspects of our bilateral relations. Ceylon tea and other Sri Lankan products such as apparels and ceramics are already popular in Japan,” Eriko stated.